Saturday, January 31, 2015

Dear Daddy - Visiting Luke

Dear Daddy--

This is my second time away from you, and boy do Mommy and I miss you. When we left you Tuesday morning, I got to fly on a plane for the second time. Mommy says I was really good. I slept the first half of the flight. When I woke up, I got my own seat since the plane was very empty. I even ate my snack off the seat's tray like a big girl.

During the day, Mommy and I hung out with Gigi and Poppa. Poppa watched me while Mommy and Gigi went to the grocery store. I decided to reveal my skill of sitting up from laying down to Poppa several times. Mommy says I was sneaky by keeping that from her. Tuesday evening, we met up with Great Gran, Great Papa, and Great Unk Chuck for dinner. Great Gran and Great Papa gave me some new books. And, that Great Unk Chuck is so silly. He fed me some guac, which I loved. Mommy says that means I am a Texas girl.

Wednesday morning, Gigi, Mommy, and I left for Waco to spend the week with Uncle Brian, Aunt Sarah, and Luke. We have had a great time playing with them.

 As you know, on Thursday, Mommy went to Austin for a memorial service, so I spent the day with Gigi, Aunt Sarah, Uncle Brian, and Luke. Gigi said I was very good. She even gave me milk in my new straw cup, which I love.

Friday was the best day. We went to the Cameron Park Zoo. It was so cool. There was an aviary with ducks, pelicans, herons, and gulls. We got to walk through it amongst the birds. I loved seeing all the birds so close. And, of course, I loved the giraffes. They are my favorite.


Luke didn't seem to enjoy the zoo as much as I did. Mommy said I slept through the zoo the first time I went, but I don't think I would have slept through the giraffes.

My first visit to the zoo - 7/24/2014

I loaned Luke my hat because he was cold, so Luke wore my pink hat--hehe. Uncle Brian got in trouble from Aunt Sarah because he used my sleeping cousin as a map holder. I didn't see the problem--it sounded like something you would do. Luke started crying when we were by the cougar exhibit. Both cougars woke up and stalked us as we walked around their enclosure. It was really creepy. Other than that, it was a lot of fun.

That night, we had dinner with Great Aunt Karen and Great Uncle Chris.

Great Aunt Karen let me eat rice off her plate and fed me queso. I LOVE CHEESE.

Today it was rainy and cold, so we stayed in. Mommy and Aunt Sarah took pictures of Luke and me in my onsie that says "My Cousin is my BFF." Mommy told me it was a little tricky since I don't know how to touch a baby. I don't know why she said that--I was just patting his head like I do the dogs. They never seem to care.

We are obviously having a great time here with Gigi, Poppa, Uncle Brian, Aunt Sarah, and Luke, but we really really wish you were here too. Thank you for the card--Mommy and I love it. I like to read it over and over.

We love you lots and lots and lots, Daddy!!!

- Your Lottiebell

Friday, January 30, 2015

Christmases #3 & #4

3) Waco Christmas (i.e. Christmas Day)

After celebrating Christmas with the Atteberry side, we left for Brian & Sarah's house in Waco. We decided to spend Christmas there since Sarah was about to pop and unable to travel.

We hung out and finished Christmas presents.

On Christmas Eve, we decorated the Christmas tree...

and took Christmas jammie pictures.

Then we started a new tradition of reading "A Night Before Christmas" and the Luke Christmas story before bedtime.

Finally, Christmas came. Lottie had a lot of fun with all the wrapping paper and fun new toys. 

She got several new books, a huge stuffed moose, a laptop, as well as several other toys. Afterwards, we did stockings and ate a wonderful dinner provided by Brian and Sarah.It was an incredible Christmas.

4) Abilene Christmas 

Once Christmas lunch was over, we left for Abilene. I think all the travelling and excitement finally hit Lottie, and she refused to take her nap and fussed on the way to Abilene. She was very fussy that night, though Greg assured us that her very fussy night was not actually a very fussy night. We are so spoiled by this precious girl. It was Jerrod and Emily's (Chris' brother and SIL) first time to meet Lottie, and she loved them.

Lottie did take a break from all the fussiness to enjoy her second Christmas on Christmas Day. 

She received a Peek-a-boo Elmo, Fisher Price talking puppy, and fun clothes. Once the fun of wrapping presents was done, it was back to the grindstone and cranking out those ABC reports.

The following day we visited with Chris' grandparents. It was both Lottie and my first time to meet them. 

That evening, we went over the Chris' uncle's house to hang out with all the Hardegree cousins. They are a fun group. The grown up kids re-enacted a picture from childhood (the youngest is in India, so they borrowed a baby doll from the little girls).

Evan, Chris, Emily, "Katie", Mary, Jerrod

We tried to take pictures of the young cousins, but that went about as you would expect.

Dylan, Kaitlyn, & Lottie

We had a blast with that crew, including a dance party in the kitchen.

Evan & Lottie

Friday, January 16, 2015

Lottie's First Christmases #1 & #2

We spent 3 weeks travelling for Christmas. And I have to say that Lottie was a champ. She is a road-tripping pro. She kept her schedule perfectly and entertained herself very well even during the 12 hour days.

In the evenings of long days, I would climb in the back and keep her company for an hour or so, but she was pretty happy either way. She did enter the clingy stage a bit on this trip. We think she saw so many new people and places that she just needed mom to stay a little closer than usual. That being said she still hung out with everyone just fine. Like I said, she was a champ.

Cracker Barrel along the way

Before we left, I had several people ask me what we were doing for Lottie's first Christmas. When I told them that I hadn't even had the chance to decorate and that we were only giving 4 toys I had found at garage sales (money is tight with me staying home and hey, she doesn't know the difference) as well as several used books I had found at various places, they often seemed a little surprised if not slightly disapproving. Let me just say that Chris and I did not drop the ball. Lottie had 6 Christmases. That's right. SIX.

1) Oklahoma Christmas with the Lewis'

We decided to start the trip by spending a couple of days with my best friend, Carrie, and her family (aka my second family) at their family ranch in Sallisaw, OK. We left Thursday, spent the night in Memphis, and headed to Sallisaw the next day. We arrived much later than planned due to a mishap picking up Carrie and her husband Jeremy from the airport (let's just say there was a lot of confusion regarding which airport they flew into and Chris and I ended up 1.25 hours away at the wrong one), but we got there with Carrie and Jeremy.

Their ranch is beautiful, and we always have a great time with the Lewis'.

Walking the cow pastures

They have to be one of the most loving and welcoming families I know. I loved introducing Lottie to them and seeing everyone.

Clockwise from left: Mrs. Lewis & Lottie, Mr. Lewis & Lottie, Carrie &"", Jeremy & "", Carrie bathing Lottie)

Carrie, Mr. Lewis, & Jeremy taught Lottie how to drum on pans.

They sweetly showered Lottie with many gifts, including 2 super cute pink John Deere outfits and socks and a book about the First Christmas.

Chris' gift from Carrie & Jeremy
"Obama can't ban these guns"

Lottie absolutely loved being surrounded by 6 dogs, including an 11 week old red heeler puppy.

Though her favorite was probably Pistol, the Boston Terrior.

She also met a goat and a horse.

It was a fun adventure and a fantastic wayt to start our trip. I am so glad we got to spend time with Auntie Carrie and the whole Lewis family. We sure love y'all!!

Clockwise from Left: Me, Mrs. Lewis, Emma, Carrie, Jeremy, Chris, & Lottie

(Carrie--this is my favorite pic of y'all two. You look beautiful.)

2) Katy Christmas with the Atteberrys

We arrived in Katy late Sunday. The couple of days in Katy were a whirlwind of visiting and preparing for Christmas. On Monday, Alicia drove out to Katy to hang out for the day. I was so glad we got to see her!

Alicia with Lottie & Me

My parents, Alicia, Chris, and I took Charlotte to see Santa at Bass Pro Shop. They were supposed to have a number system, but instead they just had a line. We waited for 2 hours. Basically, we each took turns waiting in line while the others did Christmas shopping in the mall. Still, not sure we will do that again. Being Charlotte, she smiled real big for Santa. No screaming or tears. She is Chris' daughter for sure--loves anyone and everyone.

Chris exclaiming over the fact that Lottie met the real Santa!

That evening, we met my mom's family at Fuzzy's Pizza for our traditional Christmas Eve dinner (well, ok, it was a few days early this year, but we were all going to be in different places).

Great Gran & Lottie

Fun with Great Uncle Chuck

The following day we celebrated Christmas with my dad's family, aka Christmas #2. Chris and I had not seen most of the family since the previous Christmas, so they had not met Lottie before. She received super cute clothes, books, and some toys, including a turtle that sings, which she loves. It only took 2 days for Chris and I to memorize the songs it sings. Haha.
"I'm a little turtle, small & green. 
Ready for an adventure.
Just you and me"

Great Grandma & Lottie

Great Uncle Mike & Lottie

Cousin Sandy & Lottie

Four Generations

Christmases #3-#6 to come. I know, cliffhanger, right?